ICL: Indian Cricket League

Smith praises SA fightback


smithCaptain Graeme Smith praised a South African bowling fightback that allowed them to draw the first Test against India on Sunday.

South Africa were jolted after Virender Sehwag blazed an Indian record 319 before paceman Dale Steyn grabbed four quick wickets to peg the lead down to 87 runs on the fourth day.

“The positive for us is actually we took control of the game,” the South African captain told reporters. “We changed the game instead of dealing with what came our way and moved it into our direction.”

“That is the big shift in terms of the way our team is at this moment.”

South Africa number three Hashim Amla top-scored with 159 in the first innings and opener Neil McKenzie, dismissed for 94, scored an unbeaten 155 on the final day.

“It was an incredible day for us,” Smith said, referring to Saturday’s bowling. “If we had not taken control like we did, we might have had to bat out (defensively) today.”

“To then come out and bat as solidly as we did was good for us.”

The tourists are aiming to win their third Test series in a row in the region after succeeding in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

India skipper Anil Kumble bemoaned a flat pitch that offered little assistance to the home side’s spin bowlers.

“I think the bowlers did the best you could possibly do on this pitch,” Kumble said. “You can’t expect anything else.

“As soon as you come to India people start talking about spinners right from day one and til the last day is over.”

Kumble also said his side chased runs too quickly on Saturday after finishing day three at 468-1.

“We went for a lot of runs yesterday, probably we lost a couple of wickets in doing that and it put us back a bit.”

South Africa scored 540 and restricted India to 627 all out despite Rahul Dravid’s 111 and Sehwag’s heroics. McKenzie then guided them to 331-5 on Sunday.

Source:Cricket News

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